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Expressions constantly freezing/crashing
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Author Topic: Expressions constantly freezing/crashing  (Read 5805 times)
sakurama
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« on: November 04, 2009, 09:11:35 AM »

I've had problems with this software for ages ever since it was sold to Microsoft and iView quit supporting or updating it. It used to be iView crashing on imports so frequently that my assistants gave up updating the catalog. For the last year I've used Bridge which of course isn't a replacement but at least it doesn't crash. Last spring I read Peter's book decided I should really restart my catalog so I bought Expressions...

So. I started a new catalog for my portfolio images and it only has about 5-600 images and the catalog seems to function just fine - it never crashes. That tells me something I guess.

My old catalog is about 11,000 images. Since it's an old catalog I've migrated most of the images to newer hard drives but when I attempt to "reset paths" or "find missing items" it generally freezes and needs to be force quit. I've tried a save as and I've tried dragging the catalog into a new catalog and that seemed to get me a functioning catalog for a few hours. If I try to locate more than a few images the software quits. I don't want to spend the rest of my life updating the paths of 11,000 images in batches of 10 but I don't know what else to do.

I've had this problem for a while - the last 6-8 months. I generally get frustrated and quit using it and then find a new reserve of "I've got to get my catalog updated" when I need to find something for a client and realize my catalog is out of date for over a year. I suppose I could give up trying to link the files and consider Expressions a manual thumbnail gallery where I find an old image and then go look for it in Bridge but that also negates being able to update the catalog.

When the catalog is force quit it won't reopen unless I choose "Read only" as it thinks it's still open somewhere - I'm guessing corruption starts here. I've upgraded to Snow Leopard on my main machine after testing and sorting it out on my laptop and iMac for the last month. It seems to have no bearing since Expressions crashed before and after. Last night I had a brief glimmer of hope when I dragged everything to a new catalog and ran "find missing" and the program cranked away for 6-8 hours locating images only to crash on the "accept reset paths" dialog. The other problem is that after upgrading to the SP2 my catalog no longer lists in red the missing paths for images - everything is black. The only way to know if the image is correct is to look in list view for the listing and see if it lists an old HD or the newer one. The archive is now kept on two Drobos - one older USB and one newer Firewire.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated since all attempts to contact Microsoft have been fruitless. Thanks.

Gregor
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sakurama
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2009, 09:30:50 AM »

So I found a link to EM support - $259 to call them and $99 to email them.

I can't really explain how angry that makes me so I won't try. I don't think the program cost that much. Can you imagine it costing $1000 to call Adobe or $3000 to call Apple? Or even $50000 to call Mercedes. It really goes a long way toward increasing my animosity towards Microsoft.

So, has anyone tried this? I'd consider emailing them for $100 if I thought I might get an answer or some actual help. I suspect I'd get a form response that would be no help and I'd have no way to get my money back. It would just be a continuation of the robbery that this program is.

Anyone?
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2009, 09:45:33 AM »

Have you tried creating a new catalogue, and then importing the old one into it? In the past I found that fixed a few things.

The other idea would be to do an Extract Metadata in your troublesome catalogue. Then use the XML file to create a new catalogue. With this method you could use TextEdit or TextWrangler to do a search and replace on the incorrect paths.

As for support costs, well Adobe have been severely criticised for he quality of their support and have acknowledged they had a problem. Frankly, I've always had better support from other users of software - they aren't paid to deny there's a problem until the very last moment before the company issues a service pack or update....

John
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sakurama
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2009, 12:30:01 AM »

Hi John,

Thanks for the reply. I'm not familiar with the "Extract Metadata" technique. I've tried to import into a new catalog and I've managed to do that twice and the program seems to act a bit better (it's quicker to open a thumbnail for instance - 1-2 seconds compared with 10-20) but it seems that each time I attempt to reset a path the catalog freezes and that's it. Once it freezes once it seems to never be the same and will only open as "Read Only" because it believes the catalog is already open after the crash. Then pretty much any action I take freezes the program.

I'm almost to the point of either switching to Lightroom (which I'm not really keen on) or just starting over from scratch.

If you could explain the Extract method a little more I may try that - I don't want to re-catalog 13,000+ images...

Gregor
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2009, 01:36:15 AM »

Gregor,

For clarity, I was not saying simply import into a new catalogue - I was saying create a new catalogue and import the old one into it using File > Import Items > From Catalog File. This sometimes flushes out awkward inconsistencies. An alternative is to try copying and pasting between catalogues.

I'm sorry, rather than "Extract Metadata" (under the Action menu) I should have said "Export to XML". Before running it, check how many images are visible - the command targets all the visible images. You could just test things by making only one or two files visible. Then let it create its XML file, a big text extract of your catalogue, and save it on the desktop. If you want to see what the XML looks like, open it in a text editor. Here, if you want, you can edit field values and even do a search and replace, so you could replace the folder path with the correct one. Now open a new catalogue and choose File > Import XML. Try it small scale until you get the hang of it.

Sure it's not a drive / path problem?

John
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sakurama
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2009, 09:46:39 AM »


Sure it's not a drive / path problem?

John


Well, no. I thought I'd try that and so I copied a couple of years to a striped 3TB drive and try resetting the paths and I've not had a crash yet so I'm inclined to think that the older Drobo may be the issue as it's USB. I still have a problem with some of the files no updating their locations. I'll select a year of files in list view and choose "reset paths" and direct them to that years folder and about 90% will update the location. The remainder resist updating unless they're selected singly - even if two files are in the same folder selecting them together and navigating to the folder where the originals are (new disk) shows the originals grayed out. If I do it one at a time for these stubborn files they'll update. Any thoughts on that?

While this is still a problem it does seem that the Drobo was an issue so I'm getting closer to a solution. Many thanks.

Gregor

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rod barbee
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2009, 10:08:20 AM »

So I found a link to EM support - $259 to call them and $99 to email them.

Gregor, have you tried the Expression Media forum? I've found the support team there to be very helpful

http://social.expression.microsoft.com/forums/en-us/media/threads/

rod
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sakurama
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2009, 10:21:47 AM »

It's funny as I'd found a different EM support forum which hadn't had a response for almost a year just adding to the feeling that the program had been abandoned. The one you mention seems to be active - even more than here - so that might just be what I'm looking for. I even see that Anita of EM support fame posted there this week so maybe there's hope. Right now I still get crashes once a day but that's a huge improvement over the crashes every minute I was getting. I think that changing the catalog to reference a faster drive has been the main solution.

Thanks,

Gregor
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